DEATH In Paradise star Osi Okerafor is the latest actor to have joined the cast of Casualty.
Here’s the lowdown on the BBC One soap’s latest comings and goings…
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Elinor Lawless (Stevie Nash) – joining
Doctors actress Elinor Lawless is joining the cast of Casualty.
Elinor will make her debut when Casualty celebrates its 35th anniversary with special episodes later this year.
The actress said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the wonderful cast of Casualty.
“Stevie Nash is certainly a force to be reckoned with and looks set to ruffle a few feathers in the Holby ED.”
Matthew Afolami (Osi Okerafor) – joined
Death In Paradise star Osi Okerafor has joined the cast of Casualty.
The actor made his debut as new doctor Matthew back in May.
Matthew was quick to ruffle his ex-wife Fenisha and her new boyfriend Ethan’s feathers following his arrival.
Ethan and Fenisha’s relationship has been on the rocks ever since Ethan revealed he carried the Huntington’s gene and that there was a 50 per cent chance their baby, Bodhi, could inherit it.
Matthew clearly still has feelings for Fenisha but will he get in the way of her relationship with Ethan?
Speaking about his new role, actor Osi said: “It’s a pleasure to become a part of the Casualty team. Everyone here is so genuinely friendly and it’s a very exciting environment to work in.
“I’m excited for viewers to see Matthew’s love for his patients and his willingness to do whatever it takes to care for them; it’s a quality I really admire in him.”
Iain Dean (Michael Stevenson) – returned
Michael Stevenson reprised his role as Iain Dean in the popular medical drama in April 2021 after a year and a half away.
The actor announced he was taking an extended break from the role back in 2019 as Ian’s long-running mental health story came to an end and the troubled paramedic tried to take his own life.
Speaking to Digital Spy about his return in 2021, Michael explained: "When the producers got in contact and stuck to their word by asking me to come back, it was a no brainer. It's home to me. The show has been very good to me and so there was nothing to think about really."
Iain returned to the soap in a much better place than when he left.
Michael added: “He is in a much, much better place. He's had a really good year. He's really enjoyed working for the HEMS team and all the thrills that come with that – it's right up Iain's street. He has definitely changed.”
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Leon Cook (Bobby Lockwood) – left
Casualty's Leon Cook departed from the show last month (May 2021) after failing to secure a full-time position.
Leon was pushed out when Iain Dean swiped the paramedic job from under his feet.
Wolfblood actor Bobby Lockwood only joined the show earlier this year in the role of Leon, and the door is expected to be left open for his return one day.
Connie Beauchamp (Amanda Mealing) – left
Connie Beauchamp made an exit from Casualty this month (April 2021) after actress Amanda Mealing announced she was taking an extended break from the medical drama.
"I was tired and really needed to rest," she told Digital Spy. "I haven't had a proper break in years, and when I've taken time out of the show before, I've been directing and doing other things.
"I've been on the show for nearly seven years and it can be full-on. When we went back after the COVID episode, I'd worked 73 out of 80 days. My spare time is also taken up with directing and making short films for my production company. I was very tired and so I have been enjoying catching up on sleep.
"It's very similar to Connie in a way – she needed to spend more time with Grace and I needed to take some time out of work too."
In a low-key exit, viewers watched Connie realise she needed to prioritise her daughter Grace after she nearly killed David’s son Ollie doing an operation she wasn’t qualified to do – and walked off with her daughter.
Show bosses have insisted that Connie will return to the soap one day, but there's no official word yet.
Noel Garcia (Tony Marshall) – left
Tony Marshall departed from Casualty back in January 2021 as his character Noel Garcia met a tragic end.
Noel died from coronavirus during a special episode exploring the pandemic through the lens of the Emergency Department staff.
Show boss Loretta Preece told Digital Spy at the time: "It is always sad when a much-loved character moves on but the fact that Noel was so knitted into the department and was so loved by the audience is part of what makes his death from Covid so impactful.
"The people who have died from this terrible disease this year are all people like Noel who have been treasured by colleagues and who have families who love them.
"The fact that Noel will never see his grandchild is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of his death. There were real tears on set as we shot Tony’s last scenes and he will be enormously missed."
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